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Local Commentaries

Point: Beyond Impeachment, Restoring Our Democracy

With the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump, the impeachment saga will end. What next? It’s likely we will hear recriminations and accusations, see finger-pointing and even name calling. More evidence related to the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president may ...

The Budget Deficit Is A Chronic Inability To Set Priorities

In the debate unfolding in our country over federal deficits and debt, one fundamental argument is generally overlooked: What we politely call our “structural deficit” is really a chronic inability to set priorities. In a way, we have forgotten as a nation, as a society, how to determine ...

Counterpoint: Liberal Witch Hunt Can’t Burn Trump

It’s hard to believe that the overwhelming majority of Americans — whether or not they were ever partisan — haven’t formed an opinion by now about the state of our national politics. After all, we’ve all been forced to endure years of various accusations and investigations that ...

Government Spending Gets Even More Out Of Control

The federal government continues to spend money like a drunken sailor who just won the Powerball jackpot. According to the Congressional Budget Office, “The federal budget deficit was $358 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 … $39 billion more than the deficit recorded ...

The ‘Notice’ Starts A Sad Process

Every year, about this time, the newspaper publishes a “Legal Notice” from the County with a long list (in small print) of people and entities who have not paid their property taxes. This is a requirement under state law and is the beginning of a process which could lead to the sale at ...

Labor Dept. Is Suing Companies On Stats

Malicious prosecution, fishing expeditions and hostile relationships should never be the hallmarks of a government agency tasked with promoting diversity in hiring for federal contractors. But that is precisely the troubling course taken by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ...

Who Cares About The Federal Budget? We All Should

At a donor event at Mar-a-Lago recently, President Trump asked, “Who the hell cares about the budget?” Indeed, with budget deficits on his watch tipping into the trillions, Trump does seem not to care. Gone are the days when Republicans would criticize profligate spending as they did ...

Time Marches On For Everyone

Recently, thanks to a good buddy who helped with the driving, I took a road-trip to Chicago and the Midwest to see two old friends. Both are experiencing what could be life-ending health issues. It was a reminder that “time marches on,” and that there is nothing you can do about getting ...

The Reality Of Loan Forgiveness

Reality has a habit of interrupting the stories people tell themselves. The 18th century philosopher George Berkeley constructed complex arguments to prove that matter doesn’t really exist. In response, Samuel Johnson famously kicked a rock and said, “I refute (him) thus.” Like ...

Losing Not Just A Man, But A Figure

When I read of Kobe Bryant’s death I felt an acute sorrow which celebrity deaths typically do not impress upon me. The public displays in honor of celebrities always seem performative, even self-congratulatory. I talked to my friends about it who felt similarly and struggled to understand ...

The Hot Air Is Blowing From The Superintendent’s Office

Did you feel the hot air blowing from Jamestown’s superintendent of schools office? Jamestown has had a problem for many years with high failure rates on state standardized tests (ELA 77%; mathematics 78%) and a low graduation rate of 71 percent. The superintendent, however, says, ...

Let’s Not Lose Sight Of The Lake

This is simply to provide additional information as follow-up to the January 18-19 edition’s lead article concerning Chautauqua Lake. Near the end of the article the writer refers to a 2015 guidance bulletin from the central office of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). ...

An Arena Where Politics Meet Science

Last fall, a report was issued by Princeton Hydro, an independent third-party environmental firm hired by the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (“the Alliance”) to evaluate the status of Chautauqua Lake after its second annual herbicide treatment was completed this past ...

Even Dems Do Favors For The Rich

In 2017 a Republican-controlled Congress passed a tax cut hugely tilted to corporations and the wealthy. In the waning days of 2019, the Democratic-controlled House did a kind of me-too. It pushed through a retirement bill with a provision that gives billions to those in the upper ...

The ‘Green Future’ Meets The NIMBY Present

According to the polls, Americans like politically correct electricity. But when theory becomes reality, they like wildlife, scenic vistas, and property values more. Wind and solar are unreliable and diffuse sources of “energy.” The only reason breezes and sunshine add more than a ...

Republicans Struggle In Albany

I am a Democrat, so it might seem strange for me to be concerned about the future of the Republican Party in Albany — but such is the case. Though the Republican Party is dominant here and in many Upstate areas — as a statewide political force, it is in decline. Today, the Republican ...

Freedom, Opportunity Beat Bureaucracy

How lousy does public policy have to be for a state to lose population six years in a row? Illinois is finding out. Connecticut, too. More deaths, fewer births, fleets of fleeing moving vans, insufficient migrants from abroad and other states — the Lands of Lincoln and Steady Habits are ...

Help The Library That Serves

The James Prendergast is one of my top two favorite libraries in the county, alongside Westfield’s historic Patterson. As a child, I loved picking out books and reading them in a small orange chair in the tidy, bright children’s room. The Prendergast is where I fell in love with ...

EPA’s Science Blowout

A unique event in regulatory science just happened. One that could only have occurred in the rock ’em, sock ’em Trump era. An Environmental Protection Agency science advisory panel informed the EPA administrator that 25 years and $600 million worth of the science underpinning the ...

They Could Be Less Hostile

I take a sort of perverse glee listening to New York State Republicans, especially notorious Trump lackey, Tom Reed, whining about “one-party rule” in New York State. Mr. Reed, if you are reading, please run for governor in 2022. I almost felt bad seeing Republican Legislators ...